The calls for knowledge-based policy and policy-relevant research invoke a need to evaluate and manage environment and health assessments and models according to their societal outcomes. This review explores how well the existing approaches to assessment and model performance serve this need. The perspectives to assessment and model performance in the scientific literature can be called: (1) quality assurance/control, (2) uncertainty analysis, (3) technical assessment of models, (4) effectiveness and (5) other perspectives, according to what is primarily seen to constitute the goodness of assessments and models. The categorization is not strict and methods, tools and frameworks in different perspectives may overlap. However, altogether it seems that most approaches to assessment and model performance are relatively narrow in their scope. The focus in most approaches is on the outputs and making of assessments and models. Practical application of the outputs and the consequential outcomes are often left unaddressed. It appears that more comprehensive approaches that combine the essential characteristics of different perspectives are needed. This necessitates a better account of the mechanisms of collective knowledge creation and the relations between knowledge and practical action. Some new approaches to assessment, modeling and their evaluation and management span the chain from knowledge creation to societal outcomes, but the complexity of evaluating societal outcomes remains a challenge.
Issn1661-7827 (Print) 1660-4601 (Electronic)
JournaltitleInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health